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A stylish weekender on the Mornington Peninsula

Combining comfort with contemporary, this elegant weekender is a dream hideaway for a Melbourne family.

From the long driveway framed by beautiful flowering crabapple trees, to the heavenly views of rolling hills and the sea beyond, Diana and Tom’s holiday home on Victoria’s ruggedly beautiful Mornington Peninsula spells tranquillity and relaxation.

Little wonder that the Melbourne-based couple, together with their teenage children Grace and Will, find themselves seizing every opportunity to head to their cherished home away from home – also frequented by ducks, koalas and other local wildlife.

An aura of calm permeates the beautifully decorated living room of Diana and Tom’s holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula, where the restful tones of a Bayliss ‘Hamilton’ rug and Jardan ‘Cleo’ sofas in Soft Washed Linen Seaspray are a call to leave the working week behind.

As does Louis, the family cavoodle. “This is absolutely Louis’ favourite place in the world,” says Diana with a laugh. “We only have to pick up his blanket and say ‘We’re going to see the ducks!’ and he goes crazy. He knows exactly what we mean and where we’re going.

A custom-made marble coffee table by BBY Design and a duo of tan leather ‘Frida’ accent chairs by Amura from Voyager Interiors enhance the air of understated elegance, while the Todd Hunter painting, ‘When All Your Roses Were Mine’, casts a colourful spell over the room – and owner Diana. “It’s definitely a favourite piece,” she enthuses. The eye-catching floor lamp is from Lucretia Lighting, while Max Sparrow’s ‘Laffaux’ mirror is a similarly elegant option to the one seen here.

Diana and Tom had been searching “on and off for a few years” for their dream escape when they first came across the property two years ago. “We instantly looked at each other and said, ‘This is the one’,” recalls Diana.

Opening directly to the expansive covered alfresco area, the luminous living zone offers plenty of swoon- worthy spots to enjoy the glorious rural vista.

“The house is up on a hill a little way from the nearest township, so it has a real sense of privacy and seclusion. It also has such a country feel to it.”

Walls painted in Dulux Natural White contrast a treat with luxe drapes, made by Lovelight, in Warwick Fabrics’ Haven linen in Pewter.

On first inspection, the decade-old home was in pristine condition, featuring soaring ceilings, exquisite French antique panelled doors and airy living and sleeping quarters that required no structural changes.

Impeccable style reigns in the light-flooded dining domain, where a bespoke pendant from Custom Lighting does all the talking above an MCM House ‘Florence’ dining table and Globe West ‘Etta’ armchairs.

All that remained, as far as Diana and Tom were concerned, was to breathe new life into the decor, transforming the interiors into their own vision of laid-back style and functionality.

As for the pair of French antique full-height glass-panelled doors, Diana “fell in love” with them at first sight. “I think the previous owner built the home around these beautiful doors,” says the mum-of-two, pictured. “They’re about 120 years old.”

After engaging interior decorator Nicole Rosenberg of Liberty Interiors, the couple decided on an elegant yet relaxed and pared-back approach. First on the agenda was to paint most walls white, instantly imbuing the home with a crisp, clean vibe.

Showcasing a roomy galley-style kitchen featuring inky stone benchtops and white Shaker-style cabinetry, the cooking and casual dining zone appears forever clean and uncluttered thanks to an abundance of concealed storage. “I love to cook, so having enough space for everything is fantastic,” says Diana. A pair of striking Mercer Street glass pendants from Dunlin Home delivers a visual punch suspended above the Jardan ‘Otto’ dining table and replica ‘Wishbone’ chairs from Provincial Home Living.

Furnishings in natural tones and complementary shades of grey and navy allow the glorious setting to be the hero, while occasional hits of saturated colour come courtesy of contemporary art – notably a large-scale work by acclaimed Australian artist Todd Hunter in the core chill-out space.

Dark and moody tones invite deep relaxation in Diana and Tom’s domain. Juxtaposed against a wall clad in Porter’s Paints ‘Navy’ Grasscloth wallpaper, a bespoke bedhead by Peoni Home is teamed with a bed dressed in Abbotson linen from Sheridan.

In the bedrooms, gorgeous feature wallpaper claims centrestage, with oversized pendants adding a further sense of contemporary grace and drama throughout.

“The navy wallpaper brings such a texture and depth to the room,” notes Diana, who can also take in the view curled up in the cosy ‘Vittoria’ slip cover sofa chair from Globe West.

“I wanted the spaces to have more of an on-trend Hamptons feel, which we then achieved by bringing in light wood with navy and grey accents throughout,” says Nicole.

The couple’s luxurious ensuite, featuring a stylish Carrara marble vanity and an oversized freestanding bath, is exactly as the home’s previous owners designed it.

“Diana was a dream to work with… My joy comes from seeing my clients love their new space and being a part of a family’s new journey.”

Guests are made to feel instantly welcome in their designated room defined by a sense of tactile luxury. A Peoni Home bedhead and bed layered in Vintage Washed Linen from Adairs beckons, while a bedside table from Brosa and lamp from Milk & Sugar complete the lovely sleep zone.

Indeed, for Diana and Tom, the final result is just as they had hoped it would be. The home now perfectly fits the bill of a laid- back hub for wonderful getaways with family and friends – a sublime retreat that looks set to one day become their permanent base.

The family like to relax on ‘Marina Cube’ sofas by Globe West in the alfresco zone.

“This is definitely the place we’d like to retire to,” says Diana. “As the kids become more independent we’ll spend even more time here, and we eventually plan to live here full-time.”

The ‘Marina’ dining table and ‘Marina Sleigh’ armchairs by Globe West.

“It was really important to us that the home still felt very relaxed and accessible – not at all ostentatious.” ~ DIANA

“The pool was already here when we bought the house, and it gets so much use,” says Diana. “The kids just love it.” As do the family’s regular stream of visitors. “We love to entertain here,” says Diana, “but we also appreciate the time when it’s just the four of us.” ‘Florida’ sunbeds from Globe West tick boxes for both style and comfort.

“Nicole was wonderful in encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone when it came to colour and texture.” ~ DIANA

A perfectly paved path is an elegant feature in the surrounding garden.

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